XP not dead yet?

Microsoft Windows XP wordmark official.
Microsoft Windows XP wordmark official. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In April of 2014, Microsoft will stop offering security and performance updates for XP but there are and will be hundreds of millions of people still using an outdated Windows XP for their computing needs. What does this mean for them?

Will you be able to carry on as normal? Maybe, the answer seems to be that it will depend on who you talk to! Foryou might notice that some your third party applications will stop getting updates. An example of this is Google: the company has said they will discontinue support for Windows XP by 2015, including updates for their flagship web browser, Chrome.

In the long term XP users will find themselves very much in the slow land you will when it comes to the software with more and more applications, including the all important browser becoming unavailable to the user.

The risk to XP users post April 2014 can be summerised as this:

1. Security researchers will find vulnerabilities in newer
2. They will patch Vista, W7, W8 and W8.1
3. The flaws will be applicable to XP which in all certainty still shares codes with its younger siblings
4. Hackers can there retro-engineer malware from the patches which won’t work for the new OS but will be disastrous for XP.

Imagine Cryptolocker on a global scale or million of zombie bot machines sending out whatever the operator wants to push.

Businesses will have a hard time moving from Windows XP the reasons for this are many: including bespoke applications and the cost of upgrading thousands of users to a newer version of Windows are two likely to be uppermost in the minds of Sysadmins.

Windows XP is still almost ubiquitous in some quarters: NHS, has XP running on almost 85% of all boxes. 75% of all ATM machines in the US are running the 2001 programming. Changing this will cost and it’s a safe bet the consumer will ultimately pay.

XP may yet prove to the OS that wouldn’t die and while it’s tempting to say that MS has finally nailed the coffin lid down its likely that we will be seeing XP in one form or another in business at least. For the home user the risks against cost mean that Windows 7 or 8 could be on the Xmas shopping list of many people.

Conclusion

Despite Microsoft’s eagerness to wash their hands of Windows XP, it remains wildly popular. Will you be ditching it before April?

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